English-BM braille dictionary in the works

PETALING JAYA: The country’s first ever English-Bahasa Malaysia braille dictionary is in the pipeline.

The development of the bilingual lexicon is among the initial programmes planned in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and the Malaysian Foundation for the Blind (MFB).

This MOU is to collaborate in the fields of learning, research and community networking, as well as industrial benefits for the visually impaired.

It will also see, among others, a student industrial training placement programme for Bachelor of Education with Honours (Special Education) as well as courses for professional education certificates for the blind.

Through this MOU being embarked on by UKM’s education faculty, the university and MFB will be strengthening cooperation through research to provide benefits to the visually impaired community in Malaysia.

UKM's education faculty said in a statement Monday (Aug 21) that “OKU-friendly” is among the university's core values and this is shown by its caring approach towards people with disabilities in various categories such as autism, Down syndrome, as well as hearing, physical and visual disabilities.

“As a national university, UKM is forward-moving in the aspect of producing human capital that is a cut above as well as respectful of diversity and all abilities.

“In the same vein, the MFB, which was established in 2013, has successfully provided various services including vocational skills training programmes, ICT training, job and religious guidance and other relevant services such as Abdullah Ibnu Maktum's Umrah package which is OKU-friendly.

“The MFB has also done research and development of special equipment such as smart canes, voice computers, braille printers, braille Quran, smart braille typewriter and more to meet the needs of the visually impaired,” the statement added.

With the MOU, both parties have agreed to collaborate in various aspects to provide the best service to the visually impaired community.

The signing of the MOU on Aug 16 was signed by UKM deputy vice-chancellor (industry and community relations) Prof Datuk Dr Norazah Mohd Nordin and MFB chief executive officer Silatul Rahim Dahman; and witnessed by UKM education faculty dean Prof Dr Mohd Mahzan Awang and MFB advisor Prof Datuk Dr Yasmin Hussain.

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